Tag Archives: Backup

Guide to Off Grid Living

Living-Off-Grid.com Magazine Unveils New State-by-State Buyer’s Guide Detailing Where the Best Places Are to Buy an Off Grid Property in the United States

In addition, Living-Off-Grid.com also offers a “Guide to Off Grid Living” that provides over 100 chapters of information on producing solar power, rainwater collection, growing gardens, raising livestock and everything a family needs to build a self sustaining homestead

Living-Off-Grid.com - Rustic Log Cabin in the Mountain Forest

Living-Off-Grid.com – Rustic Log Cabin in the Mountain Forest’s Fall Foliage

Austin, Texas (May 26, 2020)Living Off Grid Magazine announced today that it is now offering a State-by-State Directory of the Best Off Grid Properties for Sale in the United States as well as a Free Guide to Off Grid Living that details what is takes to start living off the grid for every state in United States.

The State-by-State Off Grid Land for Sale Directory and Guide to Off Grid Living were created to meet the pent up demand from city dwellers who are now actively seeking to buy rural ranch or farmland properties, then build an off the grid homestead due to these recent events:

  • California PG&E utility shutting off electricity to more than 2 million customers without warning and threatening to do so on a regular basis in the fture; and
  • News stories airing on the Coronavirus and COVID19 by ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and other TV News networks that provoked panic buying in grocery stores that first stripped grocery stores of toilet paper and cleaning supplies and then quickly followed suit with stories on meat processing plants closing across America, which led to panic buying of beef, chicken and pork; and
  • And, last but not least, ruthless Democrat state governors issuing mandatory police state quarantines ordering all Americans to cease going to work and not allowing people to earn a paycheck causing the loss of more than 20.5 million jobs throughout the United States.

These events have caused many quick thinking Americans to start shopping for the “best places” in United States to buy an “off grid” or “rural” piece of property so they could head for the hills to start setting up self-sustaining homesteads that would survive even if utility companies started shutting off critical services such as electricity, natural gas and water services and grocery stores were suddenly sold out of meat, vegetables and other food supply items.

Offgrid homesteads can replace on-grid electiricty with solar / wind power, and on-grid water with rainwater collection and grocery store food with homegrown gardens and live stock so that there is no need to be dependent on civilization to make ends meet.

“Regardless of whose fault it was for causing the COVID 19 pandemic, Americans are now frantically searching for 10 to 100 acre parcels of off grid raw land where they can distance themselves faraway from police state governments that are now threating to go door-to-door enforcing mandatory COVID19 testing and forcing citizens to inject unproven vaccinations, which may kill more people than the actual Coronavirus itself,” said Robert Hoskins, Living-Off-Grid.com’s Editor. “We’ve seen our Facebook (FB) Off Grid Homes Discussion Group’s membership numbers increase significantly. In the past 3 months, we have seen growth rates of more than 60% rising from from 2,800 members in March 2020 to 4,624 members in May 2020. Our actual increases were 15% in March, 22% in April, and another 25% forecast by the end of May.”

Facebook Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid Growth Stats 2020

Facebook Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid Growth Stats 2020

“Our website’s Guide to Off Grid Living traffic also saw significant growth. For the entire year in 2019, we attracted around 2,690 readers that generated 5,230 page views.”

“Looking at the numbers for the first 5 months of 2020, our circulation has increased from 2,690 to 17,973 readers who have generated approximately 36,331 page views, up 6,930%. If this trend continues the magazine will have more than 41,000 readers generating 87,000 page views by then end of 2020.”

Living Off Grid Magazines’ Guide to Off Grid Living Website Annual Stats

“As a result of the massive pent up the demand for ‘Off Grid’ information we’ve even been getting calls  from TV reality series program directors asking us to help them put together reality TV show treatments and story ideas for them to begin producing new off grid reality TV shows,” Hoskins added.

“After surveying more than 6,640 off-grid FB group members, we’ve found that our members would be most interested in helping TV producers and program directors putting together an Off Grid version of PC Magazine, but with editorial targeting off grid homesteaders, which would include Off Grid Product Roundups, Off Grid Buyer’s Guides and Off Grid Equipment Bakeoffs to help off-gridders make educated purchase decisions for big ticket items such as rainwater collection cisterns, aquaponic garden setups, high-end wood-burning stoves and solar power arrays that can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.”

In addition, members stated that the off grid industry lacks an organized supply chain of value-added resellers and distributors or rural area buying cooperatives where off grid customers can see live demonstrations of working products and take education courses to help them make better purchase decisions.

Many feel that establishing off grid buying cooperatives would be a great way to generate economic development in very poor rural areas and counties where jobs are extremely difficult to find and where off grid communities are beginning to see rapid growth and expansion. Buying cooperatives are the perfect way to generate loans and grants requests for the USDA, which can be the driving force in rural economic development.

Specialized training classes are esssential for helping educate a local workforce  installers, dirt movers, septic system installers, home builders, rainwater collection and solar installation experts that newcomers can turn to for expert installation of off grid products and services that every rural homestead will need. This process will generate a workforce of installers that can start news businessses that will would create good paying jobs as well as provide lots of installation companies that compete for new land owners business. Competition for these new products and services helps drive prices down and makes it very affordable to build new off grid homesteads.

About Living Off Grid Magazine

Living-Off-Grid.com provides a magazine with circulation of ~18,000+ readers and two Facebook Discussion Groups with ~ 6,640 members and business pages that allow people to follow, like and share information about what it takes to start a living-off-the-grid lifestyle anywhere in the United States.

Click on the links below to learn more:

Living Off Grid Magazine => http://living-off-grid.com/

State-by-State “Off Grid Land for Sale” Directory => https://livingoffgrid.home.blog/blog/

Facebook Discussion Groups:

Facebook Business Pages:

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins
Living-Off-Grid.com
512-627-6622

Guide to Off Grid Living - The road less traveled for homeownership: A converted, one-of-a-kind school bus in North Carolina

How to Start Living Off the Grid in North Carolina

Searching for Information on How to Start Living Off Grid in North Carolina? Our Living-Off-Grid.com Site Provides Everything You Need to Research Before Building an Off Grid Cabin in North Carolina

Please Follow and Like our Off Grid Living Facebook North Carolina Group

How to Start Living Off Grid in North Carolina

Have questions about what it will take to live off the grid in North Carolina? Visit Living-Off-Grid.com to learn how to buy land in North Carolina, select the type of home you want to build, size your solar power array for electricity, build a rainwater collection system for fresh water, provide heat with a wood stove, grow a raised bed garden, and more.

Who Wants to Start Living Off the Grid in North Carolina?

What is the Best Way to Find Affordable Off Grid Land for Sale in North Carolina?

What Kind of Off Grid Home Would You Like Build in North Carolina?

How Much Solar Will You Need for Electricity in North Carolina?

How Much Rainwater Will You Need to Harvest in North Carolina?

How Will You Heat Your Off Grid Cabin in North Carolina?

How Will You Provide Food for Your Family in North Carolina?

How to Build Fences/Roads for Off Grid Properties in North Carolina?

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@OffGridLiving3


Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns that sell off grid, remote cabin, solar, rainwater harvesting, bushcraft, outdoor adventure, camping, backpacking, tactical prepper gear, tools, products and services that target rural and off grid properties.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with marketing managers, PR contacts and social media specialists as well as websites, portals and ecommerce center that want to launch successful marketing campaigns to an off grid, prepper, and bushcraft target audience that like to prepare for when Shit-Hits-the-Fan situations (SHTF).
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding PR” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to developing donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns to help raise money to introduce innovative new products and services to the marketplace.

Please like, follow us and share our content via:

Sign Up for Our Monthly “Off Grid Living in North Carolina” Newsletter:

 

Houses Built for Off-Grid Living Include Earthships Built with Hemp, Hay, Rainwater Collection and Passive Solar Heating

Off-grid living can vary widely, but generally embraces a sustainable, autonomous lifestyle including generating your own solar power, rainwater collection, waste removal/sewage solutions (such as a worm farm waste system) and growing indoor aquaponic gardens

Living Off Grid - Houses Built for Off-Grid Living Include Earthships, Hemp and Hay

Living Off Grid – Houses Built for Off-Grid Living Include Earthships, Hemp and Hay

Please Follow and Like our Off Grid Living Facebook Group Page

Adelaide, Australia – Kathy Menzel says she used to be completely oblivious to power bills, “just running along in the hamster wheel like everybody else, you know, busy, busy, busy, spend, spend, spend”. She and her husband Bob, both IT professionals, did have an inkling they wanted something different though, yearning for a serene country lifestyle with no neighbors.

When they finally found their dream block in the Adelaide Hills, reality hit home. “We’d been looking for five years for this great piece of land in the middle of nowhere but still easy to commute to the city,” she says. “But it was going to cost $450,000 to get on to the grid.” The cost of connecting was far more than the $238,000 for the 10 acre block, which was only 1.5km from a main road.

Undeterred, Menzel researched sustainable housing and calculated their energy and water needs. The result was a self-sufficient home they’ve been enjoying for four years now – which cost $150,000 less than the price of connecting to the grid. “It’s completely changed my way of living and my whole understanding of everything to do with energy waste and carbon,” she says of her new minimalist, eco-friendly lifestyle.

These days Menzel is acutely aware of her energy and water consumption. “It’s not an endless resource; someone’s paying for it somewhere, and I mean look at the climate – the Earth is paying for it, isn’t it?”

What are the challenges and perks? “Oh, just perks,” she laughs.

For one reason or another, Australians are increasingly taking up the gauntlet while governments drag their feet on sustainable housing regulations. Even the six-star building standards, for instance, just don’t cut it, says Menzel. “You know, you can put windows wherever you like and you can just run a big great air-conditioning system and pay a fortune.”

They built their home guided by “passive house” principles, achieving a 7.9-star energy rating. With no air-conditioning and a combustion heater for cold winter evenings, she says it never goes below 16C or above 26C inside in a region that dips below zero in winter and can soar over 40C in summer. Two rainwater tanks provide plenty of water, with enough to spare for the South Australian Country Fire Service.

Off-grid living can vary widely, but generally embraces a sustainable, autonomous lifestyle. This includes generating your own power, water, waste removal and sewage solutions (such as a worm farm waste system) and can extend to growing your own food.

Possibly the ultimate answer to sustainable living is the earthship, a passive solar shelter made from recycled tires, plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans. “You can use other stuff as well,” says expert Martin Freney. “Like you can salvage sheets of metal from car bodies and old fridges and washing machines and use them as roof shingles if you’re really creative.”

Read more at => https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/29/earthships-hemp-and-hay-the-houses-built-for-off-grid-living

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Off Grid Living - Prepping to Live Off the Grid

Guide to Off Grid Living Launches New https://livingoffgrid.home.blog/ Website to Complement Its Facebook Discussion Groups and Business Pages

The Facebook pages/groups and the off grid website provide info on building off grid homes, producing solar power, growing organic gardens, raising livestock and harvesting rainwater in Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York and Texas

Please Follow and Like our Off Grid Living Facebook Arizona Group Page

SACRAMENTO, California – The Guide to Off Grid Living announced today that it has launched a new website to educate people that want to buy a rural piece of property and build an off-grid homestead in Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York or Texas.

“Today’s world is full of high-technology gadgets, computers, cell phones, cloud-based services that are all dependent on electricity, but as more than 2 million people found out in California, that can change instantly overnight and without warning,” said Robert Hoskins, Editor, Guide to Off Grid Living. “Our living off grid guide is written specifically to help beginners learn how to survive as long as the sun is shining and the clouds are raining.”

“Even if you live in a suburban or a downtown urban environment, almost anyone can prepare themselves and their family to live in a world without water, gas or electricity from local utility companies, which might vanish overnight, whether it be just for a couple of days or many months at a time,” Hoskins continued. “On the plus side, imagine what it would be like to live in a home with zero utility or grocery bills.”

The site is located at Living-Off-Grid.com and covers a wide variety of off the grid subject matters, how-to articles, video tutorials and guides for beginners, which provide top tips, tricks and strategies for off grid living and homesteading.

Building an Off Grid Shelter

For shelter, the site provides insightful information that beginners can use to research, plan and build their first off grid home, cabin, shed, tiny home, container house, earthship, steel building, terraced homes, yurts, glamping tents, Indian Tipi, underground bunker or wilderness shelters.

Living Off Grid - How to Turn a Shed into an Off Grid Cabin or Home

Living Off Grid – How to Turn a Shed into an Off Grid Cabin or Home

Installing an Off Grid Renewable Energy Power Source

For energy, the site details how to harness solar, wind and hydro energy to produce solar electricity, solar hot water, passive solar window furnacesolar lighting systems and solar ovens for cooking as well as the best backup generators.

Guide to Off Grid Living - How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Guide to Off Grid Living – How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Planting an Off Grid Garden and Raising Livestock

For food, the site details how to plant organic raised-bed gardens to grow vegetables, grain, medicinal herbs; how to build aquaponic gardens/fish farms; and how to raise chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, bees and other live stock to put food on the table.

Off Grid Living - How to Build a Predator Proof Chicken Coop to Protect Against Foxes, Skunks, Opossums and Raccoons

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Predator Proof Chicken Coop to Protect Against Foxes, Skunks, Opossums and Raccoons

Providing an Off Grid Source for Fresh Water

For water, the site details how to collect water utilizing rainwater harvesting systems using rooftops and collection barrels/cisterns; how to build fresh water ponds for raising fish/aquatic plants; and how to drill your own well if the water table is close to the surface.

Off Grid Living - How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water

Off Grid Living – How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water

Providing an Heat Source for an Off Grid Home, Cabin or Shed

For heating, the site details how to select wood stoves, micro stoves, stove top blowers, small rocket stoves or large rocket mass heater/masonry stoves and tutorials on selecting the best chainsaws and how to build a firewood shed to keep wood dry.

Living Off Grid - Using an Efficient Wood Stove to Heat an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Living Off Grid – Using an Efficient Wood Stove to Heat an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

The Best States to Start Living Off the Grid

In addition to its first five business pages on Facebook, https://livingoffgrid.home.blog/   provides information for beginners that want to learn more about what it takes to live off the grid in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming or anywhere in the United States.

Off Grid Living - How to Buy Raw Land Parcels for an Off Grid Homestead

Off Grid Living – How to Buy Raw Land Parcels for an Off Grid Homestead

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Batteries vs. Blackouts – 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage

Utility Green Mountain Power’s pilot programs paid off with
clean, distributed backup power amid a statewide outage

Living Off Grid - Batteries vs. Blackouts - 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage

Living Off Grid – Batteries vs. Blackouts – 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage

Home batteries proved their resilience value during Vermont’s Halloween blackout.

Vermont – A major rain and wind storm struck the state at the close of October, knocking out power to some 115,000 customers. Among those affected, 1,100 homes managed to keep the lights on thanks to pilot programs specifically designed to promote resilient backup power with energy storage. The battery backup service lasted nine hours on average, but the longest instance stretched to 82 hours.

The event offers a timely data point for other jurisdictions mulling the use of home batteries for resilience. Northern California community power purchasers yesterday requested proposals for home batteries to keep customers powered during the region’s fire-season safety shutoffs. Such a model remains cutting-edge, but Vermont utility Green Mountain Power has shown it can be done effectively.

A couple of years ago, Green Mountain Power launched a Grid Transformation Pilot that allowed homeowners to pay a monthly fee to host a utility-owned and controlled Tesla Powerwall battery. The residents could use it for backup in an outage, and the utility could dispatch the capacity to manage peak demand at other times.

The program previously generated more headlines by saving hundreds of thousands of dollars during annual system peak events than for fulfilling the backup function. In 2018, GMP’s network of batteries reduced consumption during the ISO New England peak hour, saving about $600,000 on capacity fees. This year, a larger number of batteries, totaling 10 megawatts of capacity, responded to a late July peak, saving nearly $900,000 from a single hour of operation.

“We think about our need to deliver reliability constantly,” said Josh Castonguay, the utility’s chief innovation officer. “This has provided us with an amazing tool that can deliver reliability and also pay for itself.”

Those successes made for favorable economics for the utility system as a whole. But the Powerwalls hadn’t had a major opportunity to chance to demonstrate the backup benefit that was promised.

That changed on Halloween.

“We had near-100 mph gusts on top of some of the ridge lines,” Castonguay said. “We had damage across the entire state.”

The 1,100 homes that islanded from the grid accounted for the largest home-battery backup event in the utility’s territory so far, he added.

One reason for that: The utility keeps adding more batteries.

Read more => https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/green-mountain-power-kept-1100-homes-lit-up-during-storm-outage

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Enphase: Demand for Solar-Battery Systems Could Soar After California Blackouts as Customers Forced to Live Off Grid

Grid woes “will only increase the attach rates for storage” in the country’s biggest rooftop solar market, Enphase CEO says.

Living Off Grid - Enphase - Demand for Solar-Battery Systems Could Soar After California Blackouts

Living Off Grid – Enphase – Demand for Solar-Battery Systems Could Soar After California Blackouts

Enphase’s current growth is based around its core solar microinverter business. But in discussing the company’s Q3 earnings Tuesday, CEO Badri Kothandaraman focused on how Enphase’s soon-to-launch integrated energy storage system could aid Californians facing the state’s unfolding wildfire and grid blackout emergency.

California-based Enphase is far from the only residential solar equipment provider adding batteries to the rooftop PV proposition. Sunrun, the U.S. rooftop solar leader, says that a quarter of its California solar customers are now choosing to add batteries to their systems.

While Kothandaraman declined to predict how many battery-backed Ensemble systems the company will sell, he expects similar “attach rates” to those seen by Sunrun in the California market.

The demand for solar-battery backup systems could skyrocket, Kothandaraman said, with millions of Californians undergoing days-long blackouts this month under the expanded fire-prevention power outage regime of bankrupt utility Pacific Gas & Electric.

Read more => https://buff.ly/34g7G6M

#California #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #Enphase #MicroInverters #Solar #Panels #Batteries #PGE #Wildfire #Blackouts #Discounts

Elon Musk Says He has the Solar Solution for California’s Fire-Related Blackouts Starting at only $15,000

Order Tesla Solar + Powerwall battery for 24/7 clean power and no
blackouts!, Musk
tweeted, adding a link to the solar section of Tesla’s website

Living Off Grid - Elon Musk Says He has the Solar Solution for California’s Fire-Related Blackouts Starting at only $15,000

Living Off Grid – Elon Musk Says He has the Solar Solution for California’s Fire-Related Blackouts Starting at only $15,000

SAN FRANCISCO — As California faces massive wildfires and extensive power failures, Elon Musk has taken to Twitter with his latest cause: equipping residents here with solar panels and giant batteries to power their homes.

In a series of tweets last week, the Tesla chief executive made a simple case to affected state residents: buy his solar and battery setup to ride out the next disruption. Power shut-offs from the local utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, will only become more prevalent over the next decade. And solar-equipped homes are more efficient and better valued on the housing market. He even offered a $1,000 discount to those affected by days of power failures caused by wildfires.

“Order Tesla Solar + Powerwall battery for 24/7 clean power & no blackouts!” Musk tweeted, adding a link to the solar section of Tesla’s website.

Read more at => https://buff.ly/2PPUOAe

#California #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #ElonMusk #MicroInverters #Solar #Panels #Batteries #PGE #Wildfire #Blackouts #Discounts

What Electric Power Outages Mean for Solar’s Potential in California to Solve the PG&E Electricity Blackouts

Recent blackouts in California have millions of people looking for ways to keep the power resulting in a huge spike in interest in another technology – solar panels and home batteries

What Electric Power Outages Mean For Solar's Potential in California

Living Off Grid – What Electric Power Outages Mean For Solar’s Potential in California

Solar Power to Solve Northern California Wildfire Electricity Blackout Crisis

The recent blackouts in California have millions of people looking for ways to keep the power on. Some bought portable generators, but there was a huge spike in interest in another technology – solar panels and home batteries. Lauren Sommer of member station KQED reports.

Interview of Anne Hoskins by Lauren Sommer, KQED

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: Power is out at every house on this block in the Berkeley Hills. You could tell ’cause all the cars are parked outside the garages ’cause the garage doors won’t open, except for one.

HOWARD MATIS: Well, it works.

SOMMER: Hi, there.

MATIS: Hi.

SOMMER: I’m Lauren.

MATIS: Hi, Lauren.

SOMMER: The lights were on at Howard Matis’s house during the last PG&E outage. His fridge…

MATIS: Which you can see – fully powered and cold.

SOMMER: That’s because inside his garage…

MATIS: OK. We can go up here.

SOMMER: …Are two Tesla Powerwall batteries, about four feet tall, mounted on the wall.

MATIS: The whole house – everything – everything is powered by these two batteries.

SOMMER: The solar panels on his roof keep them charged. Solar alone won’t usually work during an outage because it’s still connected to the grid. But batteries let you wire a house to be its own little island, a 24-hour microgrid. Matis bought this system because he expects California’s fire problem to get worse.

MATIS: I lived through one disaster, and so I know what a wildfire is like.

SOMMER: Matis lost his home in the 1991 Oakland Hills fire. Some of his neighbors died trying to escape. People there are more fire-aware now. The power lines are buried underground. But they’re not immune from PG&E’s blackouts. Matis is still frustrated with the utility.

MATIS: I’ve talked to PG&E in the past, and I realized they didn’t know what they’re talking about.

SOMMER: Folks from the utility beg to differ. But other companies see an opportunity in that resentment.

ANNE HOSKINS: We’ve had a very big uptick in – I guess we would call them leads.

SOMMER: Anne Hoskins is chief policy officer at Sunrun. It sells solar and battery systems.

HOSKINS: We have a better way than relying on this, you know, over-a-century-old system.

SOMMER: Hoskins says the batteries aren’t just for emergencies. Homeowners can use them every day to store solar power, unlike portable gas generators.

HOSKINS: They’re loud. They’re dirty. And that also contributes to the problem, in our view, that we’re facing, which is climate change.

SOMMER: But batteries are pricey. A Powerwall costs more than $6,000, plus installation. Hoskins says state rebates and federal tax credits can knock thousands off that price, and Tesla is offering a discount for Californians affected by the blackouts. Still, there’s the potential for wealthier homeowners to buy their way out of these blackouts, leaving everyone else feeling the brunt.

HOSKINS: How can we build a system so that all those investments that people are making can bring a benefit to the grid as a whole?

SOMMER: Hoskins says that’s possible. You can have a bunch of solar and batteries in people’s homes that can feed into the local grid and supply everyone. It’s called a virtual power plant. Sunrun is planning one in West Oakland, where 500 low-income households will get solar and batteries. The idea is that making power locally means you don’t need as many big transmission lines to bring it in from far away.

Read more of Lauren Sommer, KQED report => https://buff.ly/2NM45Xk

PG&E Forces 800,000 Customers to Begin Living Off Grid in California

Off Grid Living - Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

Off Grid Living – Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

PG&E confirms power will shut off to 800,000 customers statewide

Sacramento, California – PG&E announced that many of the northern counties of California will see a power shutoff beginning at midnight Tuesday; a second round of outages is expected to impact the Bay Area starting at noon Wednesday.

“The power will be turned off to communities in stages, depending on local timing of the severe wind conditions, beginning with counties in the northern part of the state,” PG&E said in a statement.

After days of warning, Pacific Gas & Electric confirmed Tuesday afternoon that 800,000 customers across 34 California counties would be left in the dark starting at midnight.

To help homeowners without power, PG&E offers customer both solar incentives for installing solar power and well as rebates for adding solar battery backup banks for their solar power arrays so that they will be able to generate their own electricity, even when the power grid has been turned off.

Guide to Off Grid Living - How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Guide to Off Grid Living – How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

The utility planned the shutoff as a precaution due to “unprecedented wildfire risk,” the company said in a Tuesday night press conference.

“The power will be turned off to communities in stages, depending on local timing of the severe wind conditions, beginning with counties in the northern part of the state,” PG&E said in a statement.

Off Grid Living - How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Off Grid Living – How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

PG&E said it would communicate with affected customers directly via automated calls, texts and emails. It also created a map of affected areas, which you can check for your neighborhood. PG&E’s site was intermittently down Tuesday, so we’ve put some of the maps in the gallery at the top of this story.

PG&E said the shutoffs would begin just after midnight early Wednesday morning. PG&E meteorologists forecast high winds to last until midday Thursday, but power could be out for several days longer.

“Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. That process cannot begin until the severe weather event has subsided,” the company said.

The outages could last “five days or longer” in some areas.

“It’s also important to remember that some of our customers may experience a power shutoff even though the weather conditions in their specific location are not extreme,” said Sumeet Singh, PG&E vice president of the Community Wildfire Safety Program in a Tuesday night press conference.

“The reason why this happens is because of the inter-connected nature of our electrical grid and the power lines working together to provide electricity through cities, counties and regions. We’re working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare our customers and the public for this safety event,” he added.

ALSO: Map shows neighborhoods impacted by PG&E power shutoffs

The weather this week is expected to be dry and windy, which makes the risk of a catastrophic wildfire high, PG&E officials said. The utility company wants to shut off power so its electric equipment doesn’t start a wildfire as has happened in recent years. Singh stressed that the shutoff is only implemented as a “last resort.”

The number of potential customers affected in each Bay Area county, according to PG&E, is:

  • 32,613 customers in Alameda County
  • 40,219 customers in Contra Costa County
  • 66,289 customers in Sonoma County
  • 32,124 customers in Napa County
  • 14,766 customers in San Mateo County
  • 38,123 customers in Santa Clara County
  • 32,862 customers in Solano County
  • 9,855 customers in Marin County

Read more:
https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/PG-E-power-outage-800-000-customers-length-number-14501984.php#item-85307-tbla-10

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#PGE #customers #living #offgrid #California #solar #power #battery #backup #DIY #howto #setup #array #Northern #California #Alameda #ContraCosta #Sonoma #Napa #SanMateo #SantaClara #Solano #Marin #County #Blackout #Rebate #Wildfire #Risk #BayArea

How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Off Grid Living – How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Click on the photo to see more pictures:

Off Grid Living - How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Off Grid Living – How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Sizing a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

California – When searching for a generator to support your off-grid solar system, keep a few things in mind:

  • Generator output should be 2x your inverter’s output
  • Match generator voltage to inverter voltage
  • Generator must be warrantied for off-grid use
  • 2-wire start is mandatory to work automatically with solar system
  • 3600 RPM generators are more cost-effective, while 1800 RPM generators cost more up front but last longer and are more efficient

Generator Sizing

As a general rule, the generator should be around 2 times the size of the inverter’s continuous output. For example, a 4,000-watt inverter should be paired with an 8,000-watt generator.

This is because the generator needs to charge batteries while still powering the loads (appliances using energy). If the loads total 4,000 watts, and the charger is 60 amps at 48 volts, that totals around 7kW of continuous power:

60a x 48v = 2,880 watts + 4,000 watts = 6,880 watts

8kW would make sense as a minimum generator size to power the loads and have enough power to charge the battery bank as well.

It’s a good idea to round up slightly to give some headroom for the generator, especially at higher elevations where your generator is going to lose some of its power. Engines can lose around 3% of their power for every 1,000’ increase in altitude. Make sure you account for this if your system will be installed at a high elevation.

Can I Use a Larger Generator?

A larger generator can be beneficial if you have large loads like an air conditioner or a welder that will only be used when the generator is running.

We frequently sell 12kW and 14kW Kohler generators with our off-grid systems using a 4000w inverter. A larger generator is going to burn more fuel, but otherwise will work fine.

Can I Use a Smaller Generator?

Smaller generators will still work, but it typically requires adjusting the settings to limit the battery charger’s output. Most battery chargers allow you to adjust the AC input amperage and charge rate.

You will need to match the generator’s voltage with the inverter. For example, 120Vac generators should be paired with 120Vac inverter/chargers, while 120/240Vac generators need an inverter that outputs 120/240Vac.

In the rare case that you are using a three-phase generator or inverter, the same rules apply: the generator’s voltage would need to match the inverter.

There is one exception we are aware of. Magnum PAE inverters are 120/240Vac but can handle a 120Vac input, provided you turn down the charge rate to 50% or lower, and adjust the AC input amps to match the size of the generator. This is useful if you need an inverter that can output 120/240Vac but are working with a smaller generator.

Generator Fuel Type (Natural Gas, Propane, Diesel)

Most standby home generators work on natural gas, propane or diesel. Diesel generators tend to be much more fuel efficient and longer lasting, but the initial cost can be 2-3 times more than a natural gas or propane alternative.

The Kohler 12kW & 14kW generators we sell can work with either natural gas or propane. Off-grid customers typically use propane instead of natural gas, but these models can be configured to work with either fuel type.

Warranty

Most generators don’t have a warranty that covers off-grid or prime power applications. Check the generator warranty closely to be sure it can be used off the grid.

Kohler’s 12RES and 14RESA generators are both warrantied for 18 months / 1000 hours of off-grid use (whichever comes first).

If you need more power, dual 14RESA generators can be combined in parallel with the Kohler Powersync module for 28 kW of output.

2-Wire Start

Off-grid generators paired with solar power systems need 2-wire start capability to allow the automatic generator start (AGS) function to work. When your batteries drop below a certain voltage, the AGS kicks in to turn on the generator and recharge your battery bank.

Note that 2-wire start is different than electric start. Some generators will have a button for electric start/stop, but they can’t be controlled by a 2-wire signal, which means the inverter can’t communicate with the generator to trigger the AGS mechanism.

The Kohler 12RES and 14RESA are both capable of two-wire start.

1800 RPM vs. 3600 RPM

Most generators operate at one of two engine speeds: 1800 or 3600 RPM.

The difference is based on engine design and the alternator being used. 1800 RPM generators are generally considered superior because they are more fuel-efficient, but they cost quite a bit more up front. 3600 RPM generators tend to be cheaper but less efficient.

The Kohler 12kW and 14kW generators we sell are 3600 RPM. They are very durable, reliable and more cost-effective for typical off-grid applications. Kohler doesn’t make any 1800 RPM generators smaller than 24kW, although there may be options from other manufacturers. Be sure to do your research and read reviews to learn about the company and make sure you are getting a quality product.

Source: https://apelectric.com/general-faq/

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